With Fairtrade Fortnight starting this week, the Fairtrade Foundation is encouraging communities from across the UK to hold Fairtrade breakfasts to celebrate the event. Co-operatives can support the campaign, which runs from 29 February to 13 March, by hosting their own events.
Themed ‘you eat, they eat’, this year’s fortnight focuses on the farmers that produce some of the key breakfast ingredients such as coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, peanut butter, sugar, honey or fruit.
To mark the fortnight, the Co-operative College has created a number of free to download resources. Primarily aimed at co-operative schools, the resources include ideas, case studies, photos and activities based around fair and ethical trade. The college, which is based in Holyoake House in Manchester, also hosted a Fairtrade Breakfast at its premises inviting colleagues and other organisations to share a Fairtrade breakfast.
Some consumer co-operatives are marking the Fortnight by running special promotions. Lincolnshire Co-operative is encouraging customers and members to buy Fairtrade products by offering 10 times the normal dividend on Fairtrade products in their stores. Customers can also play Fairtrade Flip’n’win in store on Saturday 5 March between 10am and 2pm, a card game where everyone is a winner with Fairtrade food prizes up for grabs.
Lincolnshire Co-operative community engagement manager, Sam Turner, said: “We’re proud not only to stock Fairtrade products in our stores but also to take a lead on spreading the word and letting our customers know what’s so great about Fairtrade.” The society is also giving talks to schools and youth groups about the Fairtrade message throughout the year.
Central England Co-operative is also marking the fortnight by hosting a number of events across its trading area. This week children from Woodlands Primary Academy took part in an Ethical Challenge at Central England’s Bradwell Food Store on Burgh Road, Great Yarmouth.
As part of the challenge, they searched for Fairtrade products throughout the store and completed a quiz, which helped them learn about where their food and household products come from as well as how products can be produced ethically.
Co-operative branded retail societies were the first to embrace Fairtrade products. An independent society, Central England Co-operative is part of the Co-operative Federal Trading Services, the central buying group for co-operative retail societies.
Debora Hewett, Central England Co-operative team leader, said: “The Co-operative was the first supermarket to embrace Fairtrade, so we are delighted to work with the pupils at Woodlands Primary Academy to help them to learn more about ethical shopping. All Central England Co-operative food stores stock a range of Fairtrade products and the children learned that just looking for the logo and switching to a Fairtrade product can help to make a difference. We helped the children complete the Ethical Challenge quiz and they all took home a Fairtrade treat for their hard work and enthusiasm.”
Central England is also organising a Fairtrade quiz in Birmingham, and Fairtrade Breakfasts at Aston University and in Ashbourne. To encourage members to use Fairtrade products during the fortnight, the co-op has been running a social media campaign, which highlights top Fairtrade Facts. Deputy chief executive, Tony Carroll, is also featured in a film showing people how to make Fairtrade Truffles.
Another society celebrating the Fairtrade Fortnight, the Midcounties Co-operative ran a presentation for Year Four pupils at Charlton Kings Junior School. Store managers Kieran Allen from Church Street Store and Ben Amos from Charlton Kings Food store talked about the challenges faced by producers in developing countries.
According to a report by Co-operatives UK, three out of every four Fairtrade products sold in the UK come from co-operatives of small producers in poor countries. It is estimated that 887,000 people in poor countries are involved.
Helen Morrison, Year Four teacher and art co-ordinator at Charlton Kings Junior School, said: “The presentation hosted by colleagues at the Midcounties Co-operative was a great opportunity for our pupils to learn about the conditions of workers in developing countries.
“We enjoy working closely with colleagues from the Midcounties Co-operative, as it has enabled our pupils to learn about important issues such as food miles, sustainable living and Fairtrade products. We look forward to working with the team again in the future.”
The session included an interactive game in which children produced their own paper bags to see how residents in the Indian village of Kalkota made paper shopping bags to earn their living.
Matt Windridge, leadership team community ambassador at the Midcounties Co-operative in Cheltenham, said: “As a Society that prides itself on our links with the community, we were pleased to help children at Charlton Kings Junior School learn more about the challenges faced by those in developing countries, and how we can help them by buying Fairtrade products.
“The session proved to be a fun way to put a serious message across, and we look forward to our continued work with the school to deliver more interactive sessions going forward.”
- You can find all of our Fairtrade Fortnight articles here.
In this article
- Aston University
- Central England Co-operative
- Central Englands Bradwell Food Store
- Charlton Kings Junior School
- Church Street Store
- co-operative retail societies
- Co-operatives UK
- Ethical consumerism
- Fair trade
- Fairtrade certification
- Fairtrade fortnight
- Holyoake House in Manchester
- Lincolnshire Co-operative
- Matt Windridge
- Midcounties Co-operative
- Sam Turner
- social media campaign
- Team Leader
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Food
- The Co-operative Group
- The Fairtrade Foundation
- Woodlands Primary Academy
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories